- For the NFL player, see Ron Fellows (American football).
Ron Fellows (born September 28, 1959 in Windsor, Ontario) is an accomplished Canadian sportscar driver, and a NASCAR Road course ringer.
He began his career in Karts at the late age of 24, which lead to Formula Ford 1600 and Formula Ford 2000. When funds for these projects ran low, he left racing for a 9 year stint as gas pipeline worker. Fellows returned to the track in the 1980s with help from driving school instructor Richard Spenard. He made his professional debut in 1986 in the Player's GM Challenge, driving a showroom stock Camaro. He had a dominant 1989 season, capturing both the title at Mosport Park and his first SCCA Trans-Am Series race during the same weekend. His career skyrocketed as he became one of the most successful drivers in the history of Trans Am, with 19 wins in 95 starts.
Fellows then had 2 starts in the legendary Ferrari 333SP, including a 1997 win at Mosport Park in the Professional Sports Car Series. Ron has also had various stints in the Craftsman Truck Series, Busch Series, and Nextel Cup Series, as a "Road Course Ringer". He has 2 wins and 3 poles in the Craftsman Truck Series, winning twice at Watkins Glen. He has had even greater success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he has 4 wins and two poles in 6 starts. He was also the first non-American to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series event.
In 1998, Ron Fellows began his long association with GM's Corvette Racing program, with the historic Chevrolet Corvette
C5.R. He was also briefly involved with the development of the Cadillac
LMP program. At the 2000 Rolex 24 at Daytona
, he made history by setting the closest margin of victory in the history of the event, 31 seconds behind the winning Dodge Viper
GTS-R of Olivier Beretta
, Dominique Dupuy
and Karl Wendlinger
. Ron Fellows and Corvette Racing fared better the next year, winning overall with Chris Kneifel
, Johnny O'Connell
, and Franck Freon
. Later that year in June, Corvette Racing achieved its ultimate goal, a GTS class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
, with Scott Pruett
and Johnny O'Connell
. Corvette Racing also captured the American Le Mans Series
GTS title that same year.
In 2002, the Corvette C5.R once again dominated the American Le Mans Series
season, with a GTS class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring
, along with a repeat of their 24 Hours of Le Mans
GTS class victory. For the 2003 season, Corvette Racing won the American Le Mans Series
GTS title with a very close down to the wire fight with the Prodrive Ferrari 550
team. In 2004 Corvette Racing
continued to dominate the American Le Mans Series
GTS class, including another GTS class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring
. Fellows also competed in one NASCAR Nextel Cup
race at Watkins Glen
, where he started 42nd and climbed his way up to 2nd place.
In 2005, Corvette Racing debuted the revolutionary Chevrolet Corvette
C6.R at the 12 Hours of Sebring
, with high expectations. A tire blow out erased their chances of capturing the GT1 (was GTS) win, with the Prodrive Aston Martin
DBR9 taking the class win. However later that year, the tides would turn as Corvette Racing won their 3rd 24 Hours of Le Mans
class title in 6 years, beating the Aston Martin
DBR9's with superior reliability and strategy. Although Ron was not driving the winning Chevrolet Corvette
C6.R, he ran a respectable race in the #63 car.
In 2006, Ron returned for a full season with Corvette Racing
. However, a dark cloud loomed over the 2006 season as a result of the controversy surrounding IMSA
's performance balancing. Corvette Racing's opposition during 2006 was the Prodrive Aston Martin
team, which ran two full-season cars on Pirelli
tires. The Pirelli tires were their Achilles heel, as they were not as competitive as the Michelin
tires on the Corvette
. Prodrive expressed their disdain for their disadvantage, and IMSA, the ALMS
sanctioning body, introduced a number of penalties for the Corvette Racing team, to 'balance' the performance. Despite this controversy, Ron remained optimistic and still carried himself with the professionalism and class for which he is known. Despite the penalties, Corvette Racing
prevailed, winning their fifth ALMS championship. Corvette Racing also went on to win their fourth 24 Hours of Le Mans
in six years. However, Ron did not have the best luck in 2006, with the title going to the sister car driven by Olivier Beretta
and Oliver Gavin
Current & future
For 2007, Ron is back with Corvette Racing in a limited supporting role in the American Le Mans Series. He will be the third driver for the three long-distance races, and will compete at Mosport, his home race. He will sit out the other races, providing technical input and experienced advice to the team from behind the wall.
GM has created Ron Fellows edition Corvette Z06 in 2008, with a signature trim package. Ron's Corvette Photos It features unique white paint and Grand Sport hash marks on the front left fender.
He also supports many charities and programs and, like many Canadians, he has a deep passion for hockey, especially the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ron lives outside of Toronto with his wife and three children.
On August 2, 2008, Ron won a rain shortened NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Jr's JR Motorsports team. This race made history as the first points paying race to be run on Goodyear rain tires. NASCAR races are generally red flagged for rain. This victory marked Ron's fourth NASCAR Nationwide series win, all coming on road courses. This also tied him for first in the Nationwide Series for most road course wins. He is tied with Terry Labonte with 4.
List of Canadians in NASCAR